Plymouth based naval ship recovers 18 million pound drug haul in Middle East

211020-HMS Montrose crew with drugs seized from operation-Royal Navy
The boarding team from HMS Montrose, standing with the 450KG of methamphetamine Credit: Royal Navy

Sailors and Royal Marines from HMS Montrose have conducted the most successful counter- methamphetamine drug operation ever in the Middle East.

More than 450 kilograms of the drug was seized during the operation in the Gulf.

Aided by the ship’s Wildcat helicopter, sailors and Royal Marines boarded a suspicious vessel, and during an extensive search discovered the haul believed to be worth £18 million hidden among the boat’s cargo. 

The HMS Montrose helicopter provided eyes from above for boarding team members approaching the boat. Credit: Royal Navy

Operations like this have had to be adapted during the pandemic with HMS Montrose's medical team responsible for decontaminating all personnel and equipment and specialist PPE was used throughout the boarding process. 

The Royal Marines boarding team’s Officer Commanding from 42 Commando Lieutenant Joe Martin said:  “For many of the Royal Marines in the team, this was their first operational tasking. It’s good to see all of our hard work and training come to fruition in an operational environment where we are truly making a positive impact to regional maritime security.”

Royal Marines board a drugs-running craft in the Arabian sea Credit: Royal Navy

Minister for the Armed Forces James Heappey said: “Organised crime funds terrorism and by preventing these drugs reaching the open market HMS Montrose has directly interrupted illegal activity that causes considerable harm across the globe.”